Rugby captain Lim Shern is a role model
Lim Shern finds life's lessons in the sport he loves - rugby
For a star half-back who scored the winning try in the National B Division Rugby Championship final, he could simply have relived the glory over and over again.
Instead, Lim Shern spoke about the "rash and self-centred" player he once was.
He used to be scathing with his criticism of others, and wouldn't think twice about telling off his teammates in public.
The 16-year-old Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) student was quick to admit that he wasn't proud of those times.
"I was very blunt with my criticism previously," said Lim Shern, who was used to playing a division higher than his teammates.
"I never thought before I spoke, and I didn't think it would affect them that much."
Today, he is a changed boy.
If there is feedback he feels he can offer to a teammate, he waits for the opportunity to speak to him in private.
He attributed his change in attitude to his voluntary coaching stint with alma mater ACS (Junior), and explained that it also came about because he realised that he wasn't practising what he preached.
He said: "I had been stressing the importance of teamwork, resilience and confidence to the younger boys.
"But while I was encouraging them to be confident, I was also undermining their confidence at the same time by pointing out their flaws in such a harsh manner."
It was why the 12-9 win over St Andrew's Secondary School in April's final felt special.
Because Lim Shern could genuinely feel that everyone in the team had pulled together to edge out their arch-rivals.
Never mind that it was he who came up with the winner right at the death, in a game which St Andrew's led until the final dramatic moments.
He said: "By waiting till training had ended to talk to my teammates, I also gave myself more time to think about how to advise them in the best possible way.
"I noticed how their morale slowly lifted over time, and we all started playing better.
"We truly won as a team."
ACS(I) head coach Adrian Chong, who has known Lim Shern since he started playing rugby seven years ago, said he has indeed came a long way since his days of shouting at his teammates on the pitch.
He feels that the experience of guiding younger boys was the catalyst, and that it has also turned him into a more matured person.
Said Chong, 48, who also coaches ACS (Junior): "The big change came when he started coaching and the kids started watching his games.
"He is reminded that he has to be a good role model, and he now understands how to motivate people better and has learned how to play as a team."
"Not many people can admit to even themselves that they had been self-centred.
"The fact that Shern could tell it to a national paper speaks volumes about how much he has matured as a player and individual."
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